RMIT University researchers have created wearable sensor patches that detect harmful UV radiation and dangerous, toxic gases such as hydrogen and nitrogen dioxide.
These transparent, flexible electronics – which can be worn as skin patches or incorporated into clothing – are bringing science fiction gadgets closer to real life.
Dr Madhu Bhaskaran, project leader and co-leader of the RMIT Functional Materials and Microsystems Research Group, said the sensors can be placed on work and safety gear to detect dangerous gases.
“Hydrogen leaks can lead to explosions as happened with the Hindenburg disaster and nitrogen dioxide is a major contributor to smog,” she said.
“The ability to monitor such gases in production facilities and coal-fired power stations gives vital early warning of explosions, while the ability to sense nitrogen dioxide allows for a constant monitoring of pollution levels in crowded cities.”
The latest development follows RMIT’s MicroNano Research Facility breakthrough in bendable electronics which has paved the way for flexible mobile phones.
Lead author, PhD researcher Philipp Gutruf, says the unbreakable, stretchy electronic sensors are also capable of detecting harmful levels of UV radiation known to trigger melanoma.
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